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John B. (cwousn) - , - Reviews

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16th Seduction (Women's Murder Club, Bk 16)
16th Seduction (Women's Murder Club, Bk 16)
Author: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 1/29/2024


Another good (not great) effort from the Patterson/Paetro team. This has a decent plot, some unexpected plot twists, and a semi-satisfying ending. I enjoyed spending the time reading it. I was just thinking that some of my lack of enthusiasm might be because the book is written from a woman's point of view - sorry if that makes me sound sexist. I'm used to reading books written in the third person or testosterone fueled tomes.


The 1986 Annual World's Best SF
The 1986 Annual World's Best SF
Author: Donald A. Wollheim (Editor), Arthur W. Saha (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/19/2024


Maybe this volume came together before SF and fantasy became separate literary entities, but that's my major beef with this volume. Some of the stories were "just okay" but there were a couple of gems in the volume. I don't read fantasy and skipped over those. Your experience could be different than mine.


Amazing Animal Actors
Amazing Animal Actors
Author: Pauline Bartel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/12/2011


I really enjoyed this book! It was a real trip down memory lane. The book has all the animal stars of my youth - Clarence the cross-eyed lion, Flipper, Lassie, Benji, and others. They also have some from the 30s, 40s, and 50s that I saw on late night TV. Animal Actors has highlights all the way to the mid-90s (when the book was published). It was fun being reminded of who was in the cast of my favorite shows and movies. There were a lot of behind the scenes info as well as background on how the stars were "discovered". Lots of pictures as well as text - makes a great "talk-about" book!


Armored
Armored
Author: Mark Greaney
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/19/2024


Let's just say it, Greaney can write. This is another believable tale about a private security detachment accompanying some government representatives into the mountains of Mexico to try to broker a peace treaty/cease fire. Naturally, there's treachery along the way and the protagonist, an amputee named Duffy, has to extricate himself and his men from the area. The tale well written and kept my attention. Recommended.


ASININE ASSASSINS (The Smart Rhino 'Assassins' Series)
Review Date: 12/21/2021


I like short stories so it was an easy decision to read this collection. I didn't find any real outstanding or earth shattering tales in this volume, just some decent writing. A couple made me chuckle and a couple made me roll my eyes. I didn't skip any as I have been known to do if I'm put off by the writing. All in all, this was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.


Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors
Review Date: 3/27/2024


Truthfully, I only read half of this book. Every story was well written. They ran a gamut of subjects. Some were complete unto themselves. Others seemed as if they were the first chapter or an introduction to a longer tale and left me with a sense of dissatisfaction. Others just left me perplexed. So I'm leaving off to more predictable climes. Recommended, but read at your own peril.


The Bad Weather Friend
The Bad Weather Friend
Author: Dean Koontz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/6/2024
Helpful Score: 1


I read about 100 pages of this novel and was about to give up. Reading some reviews by other readers caused me to continue reading. I should have gone with my original sentiment.

I think that this book is classed as a fantasy horror novel. It reads like a young adult novel with adult themes. While I was reading this, I was reminded of the Harry Potter novels. It wasn't the subject matter but the phrasing and overly flowery language. Also, the outlandish or alliterative names of various characters brought some English farcical novels to mind. I thought the plot was outlandish and I didn't like the stratagem of jumping back to the childhood of the protagonist in every other chapter.

I was glad that I got to read this book as a free Amazon "first read". I would have really been disappointed if I paid good money for this...


Basil's War
Basil's War
Author: Stephen Hunter
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/6/2024


This book was an interesting piece of fluff. Written in the farcical style of the 30s, I was reminded of the Topper novels by Thorne Smith. Interestingly, every piece of the puzzle was laid out in plain sight, but, because of the style of writing, I didn't see the obvious. I don't want to write any spoilers so I'll just say that it's not in Hunter's normal style but still a novel well worth reading.


Review Date: 3/19/2024


I enjoyed this book. The stories were entertaining and a good length for reading while waiting for my various appointments. I don't remember any story as being outstanding nor were any terrible.


The Best of Joe R. Lansdale
The Best of Joe R. Lansdale
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/19/2024


Lansdale is a great writer - sometimes the stories are gory, incomprehensible, politically incorrect, or just plain enthralling. Today's college students may have to go to their "safety zones" after reading his tomes. I had already read some of the stories contained in this volume, but I reread them because Mr. Lansdale is just so darned readable. As they used to say in some insipid commercial - Try it, you'll like it!


Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel
Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel
Author: S. A. Cosby
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/11/2024


This is not the type of book that I normally read. In my old age (I'm 70+), I prefer books that give me enjoyment without too much thought. Does that make me shallow? Perhaps... In any case, this was a crime novel, not an action/adventure novel. As such, it gripped me at a visceral level and was a bit disturbing. The protagonist of the book is a bad - not evil - man who wants to be good. Throughout the story he performs a number of evil acts with the presumption that they will result in an ultimate good. Without revealing any plot details, I guess I can say that this premise is ambiguous at best. I'm still thinking about this one...


Blinded by the Night (An Excoms Thriller)
Blinded by the Night (An Excoms Thriller)
Author: Brett Battles
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/19/2024


I'm a Brett Battles aficionado. I read all his stuff. This latest of the Excoms series kept me up until 2:00 AM to finish it. Yes, the plot is far fetched but the action grabs you by the seat of your pants and throws you into the mix. Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.


Blood and Lemonade (Hap and Leonard, Bk 11)
Blood and Lemonade (Hap and Leonard, Bk 11)
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/5/2023


Lansdale describes this book as a Mosaic Novel. I'm not sure I like the format. It's a loosely connected series of stories that relate to Hap growing up in East Texas. I was expecting a Hap and Leonard thriller and got this instead! Yes, Lansdale's writing is spot on and I learned something about the characters that I didn't realize before (e.g., Hap and Leonard are in their 70s now. I should have realized this since we know that Leonard served in Viet Nam but it never clicked). Some of the anecdotal stories were very good, others were disturbing for one reason or another. I enjoyed them all to a certain extent. Yes, I'd recommend this book, but, if you're looking for a normal Hap and Leonard novel, this isn't where you're going to find it.


Review Date: 12/26/2023


This is military sci-fi! Shoot 'em up. Blow âem up. No REMF chicken regs here. I thought this was an outstanding collection of short stories that punches one in the gut. Full of action. It was what I think of as classic science fiction. The weapons, space armor, and transport seem to be based of possible future science. Highly recommended.


The Bomb Maker
The Bomb Maker
Author: Thomas Perry
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 1/12/2024


One of the better books I've read in quite a while. The writing is crisp, the action palpable, and the storyline is taut. Once I started this book, I hated putting it down and begrudgingly did any chores that interrupted my enjoyment. I think I read it in two days. Highly recommended.


The Burglar in Short Order (Bernie Rhodenbarr, Bk 12)
The Burglar in Short Order (Bernie Rhodenbarr, Bk 12)
Author: Lawrence Block
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/6/2024


This is a delightful volume of short stories and essays. I had already read it once before. I also read some of the stories in other anthologies. They're all superb! Alas, Lawrence Block has stated in this book that he has probably penned his last Bernie story. That's a loss for you and me. We can celebrate the fact that we were able to read the stories of this complete but likable scoundrel.


The Burial Hour (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel)
The Burial Hour (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel)
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/3/2024


In this novel, Rhyme and company travel to Italy to track a psychotic kidnapper. While there, he gets embroiled in a case involving a young American charged with date raping a woman he met at a party.

Once again Deaver has crafted an intricate story that draws in the reader. Deaver's ability to weave esoteric details into a coherent conclusion always amazes me. The fact that the logical ending is something I never contemplated (though all the clues were there) astounds me. I guess it just proves that I'm no Lincoln Rhyme!

An excellent book that I can recommend highly.


The Challenge (Steel Trapp, Bk 1)
The Challenge (Steel Trapp, Bk 1)
Author: Ridley Pearson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/19/2024


I didn't realize this was a young readers book when I bought it, so needless to say, I was disappointed. But, for a young reader, this would be a exciting book. Two "tweens", a girl and boy (both science buffs), team up to foil the bad guys. Some plot hole and transparencies, but good enough to keep young person's interest. Very little violence, lots of cliff hangers, short chapters and larger than normal print (in this edition) make it a good recommendation for younger readers.


The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 4 (Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour)
Review Date: 3/19/2024


I enjoyed the nautical stories and other semi-biographical stories in this volume but when he got to WWII, I thought the stories read like adventures from a teenaged action stories book. Improbable action and the good guy conquers all. They were dated (I've nothing against dated stories, but in my opinion these did not stand the test of time) and reflected the mores of the time (e.g., the fade out when he gets the girl). Still, others have enjoyed these, so my opinion is just that - my opinion.


Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III
Review Date: 1/30/2011
Helpful Score: 1


"Counter-Space" picks up where its predecessor "Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III" leaves off. These are not science fiction books; rather, they are a penetrating analysis of what might happen if our satellites in space were attacked and disabled. The world has become more dependent on satellites for GPS, TV, and communication. If the nations of the world were weakened by the loss of their "eyes in the sky", what would the reaction be? What actions might take place because of incomplete or inaccurate intelligence? Compound the loss with terrorist actions or the paranoia of some nations and the premise for global war becomes all together more feasible.

A frightening look at what the future could hold. A highly recommended read - just be ready for some thought provoking scenarios!


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